Governance – Friend or Foe?

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Yesterday at the Agile Business Conference we ran an afternoon World Cafe-style workshop to re-imagine governance. Here’s the deck.

Is governance focused on the right things? Governance is set up to manage risks, resources, and productivity, and operates to assure programs get delivered to realize promised benefits. What if customers don’t buy what’s delivered? What if users hate it? What, if anything, was assured in the business case? Were the benefits guaranteed? Is governance missing an opportunity to add greater value?

There is a tension between agile teams and governance models. Governance is geared more to the things that are valued less in the Agile Manifesto – tools, plans, contracts and documentation. So why not design a governance model that embodies agile and lean principles? What if governance looked for opportunities to create value and eliminate waste instead of asking whether programs are on schedule and within budget? What would governance and portfolios need to look like to enable greater business agility? What new roles would governance take on and what would its operating principles be?

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